The Accidental Researcher
The health information highway is a crowded and confusing space. It’s often difficult to tell fact from fiction. There are so-called breakthroughs, new treatments, weird and wonderful claims about all sorts of foods, therapies and devices that supposedly improve your health, or better still, cure a range of ailments. However, evidence for the claims that are made is often lacking. That said, a lack of evidence is also used as an opportunity to promote pseudoscience with a range of would-be “clinical trials” and/or “studies” that purport to show benefits to the consumer. The scientific jargon can be so overwhelming it requires considerable expertise to know whether or not you are being deceived.
At the same time, advances in good quality research are changing the future of our health for the better. Many of us are beneficiaries of modern medicine and should live longer, healthier lives, now more than ever. But it’s not a perfect world. There are many shortfalls in the system, and nothing about health and medical research is easy. It’s rarely black and white – more like 50 blurry shades of grey.
The Accidental Researcher takes an objective look at topical issues in health and medical research… news, views, novel discoveries, the trials and tribulations. Sometimes, serendipity helps us tumble toward discovery… Probably half the visitors to this Blog find it by accident. Though one way or another, we are all accidental researchers as part of this vast universe of information overload in which we now live. Critical thinking and research skills are essential to making informed decisions on complex issues including those which concern our health.
The information on this site is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor for help with any health issues.
The Editor, Dr Stephanie Williams PhD
I have devoted more than 25 years to the health and medical research sector as a cancer researcher, advocate, administrator and communicator. My experience has highlighted the need to communicate better the realities of health and medical research… how it works, its impact and what it can actually deliver in the short, medium and long term. Misinformation, confusion and frustration are widespread. In some circles, so is blind faith that research can fix most, if not, all health problems, sooner rather than later. There’s no doubt there has been some incredible progress in recent years and much to be hopeful for. However, in a post-truth world, anything goes… fake news, fake facts, fake experts. I think the community deserves so much better than that. This Blog aims to provide balanced, straightforward information on health issues and an opportunity for people to voice their opinions. We won’t be able to cover it all but certainly we can make a dent in it.